Water or more | interactive installation

Inspired by the reflection of  ‘water’ from literature, poems, and films, my thesis will create different forms of interactive graphic of water to reflect water’s poetic imaginary. Thundering rains, toppling waterfalls, flowing rivers, droplets of scattered dew, and trickles of melting ice are not only ways to describe the many facets of water, they have been used by writers’ and artists’ imaginations to describe the wide-ranging emotions of human existence. Humans are indeed 60% water so it is unsurprising that in learning about water, we learn more about ourselves and the collective human condition. The goal of the project is to explore how to optimize space, combine the real and virtual, and to provide the audience with an immersive experience. In this installation, audience members’ bodily motions will be tracked by a sensor, and the water effects respond and reflect their movements.

I built a partnership with Courtney Liu (MFA Dance candidate at Duke) where our thesis work is shown side-by-side with some collaborative elements. The dancer's body moves will be tracked by Microsoft Azure Kinect, which is a camera employing the use of artificial intelligence sensors for computer vision, and be passed to Touch Designer, which is a software for building real-time multimedia program, and the water effects responding to the dancer will be projected to the surrounding walls of the space. Thus, working with dancers will present the combination of sparkling, flowing, and hydro-propelled body movements with the interactive water flow. This interactive installation experience will be a presentation of the ‘human’ and ‘water’ spiritual connection.

The performance was presented at March 2021 and the interactive installation was exhibited from May 7th.

Exhibition Documentation Video:

"Water or More" immerses viewers in an evocative exploration of water's multifaceted essence, capturing its environmental relevance and poetic allure through two interconnected projects.

Upon entering, the gaze is drawn to a mesmerizing black curtain adorned with a series of digital illustrations. These striking visuals, born from my previous venture, "Water Portrait," fuse 3D-modeled human portraits with the fluidity of water. Augmented reality triggers intricate animations, revealing a profound commentary on environmental issues and our intricate relationship with this life-giving element.

Behind the enigmatic curtain lies an interactive installation, a space where ethereal water imagery materializes in real-time. Projected onto translucent screens, the watery vistas respond with grace and fluidity, mirroring the movements of viewers captured by the perceptive Kinect sensor. Engaging in this dialogue of motion and reflection, spectators become integral participants, co-creating an ever-evolving narrative in tandem with the aqueous imagery.

Expanding the artistic discourse, a harmonious collaboration with performing artist Courtney Liu unveils a visceral fusion of movement and water. As Courtney's captivating performance unfolds, her kinetic expressions intermingle with the responsive water imagery, forging an intricate tapestry of embodied poetics within the aqueous realm.

Through "Water or More," audiences are invited to embark on a transformative sensory journey, plumbing the depths of our connection to water and contemplating its ecological significance. With each step, the exhibition beckons viewers to surrender to the immersive realm of liquid poetry, where the interplay of visuals, motion, and human interaction crystallizes the intricate dance between art, environment, and our shared existence.

Recording of the collaborative Performance(Courtney Liu's thesis performance) at Page theatre:
Exhibition Images:

Exhibition Postercard:

Below are some documentation of my process:
Tested with dancers before the performance
Real space mock-up before the final exhibition(Tested with two screens for the space limitation)
A built-in black box inside the gallery space with a U-shape screen